When the earthquake hit us at Camp 1 on Mount Everest, the whole Khumbu Glacier heaved up and down. Our tent shot vertically upward eight inches, then it dropped back with a jolt. I felt like I was being tossed about in a life raft on a violent sea.
Massive avalanches roared down toward us from two different directions, pushing strong winds and pulverized snow before them. Here’s exclusive video that I shot just one minute after the quake, as the snow powder blasts washed over our tent:
In spite of my fear and confusion, I realized what was happening and I turned my avalanche beacon on (you can hear it beeping in the video). Though I knew that the radio signal from the transceiver would not save me if a mountainside of ice crushed us, at least the emitted beacon would increase the chance of rescuers finding my body.
When a crisis hits, the first step towards resilience is situational awareness. Stay attentive to what is happening around you. Use all the information that your five senses gather, analyze the situation and respond with intention. You can’t let fear block your ability, or your willingness, to face what’s happening.
Being aware of your situation and taking immediate action improve your survivability. Even if your ability to fight back is limited, proactively thinking and taking small, positive steps will start you on a path of responsiveness and resilience that will allow you to overcome the daunting challenge. Situational awareness is the first critical step to being resilient.
During a crisis, don’t run and hide. Think and act.
Speaking of Adventure
Note: This is the second video in a gripping series that I shot on Mount Everest immediately after the earthquake on April 25, 2015. Watch this space for another video next week.